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JMC’s LeBeau Places in Top 10 in Hearst TV Features Competition

Posted Jan. 8, 2014

Senior journalism major Kaitlynn LeBeau’s broadcast feature placed eighth in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s annual Journalism Awards Program’s Television Features Competition and earned a certificate of merit. LeBeau’s work was selected from 79 entries in this competition.

Hanson and LeBeauLeBeau’s broadcast piece profiled JMC Professor Gary Hanson’s struggle with a rare form of cancer. The feature story has great personal meaning to LeBeau.

“Gary Hanson is more than a professor. He is a mentor, a friend and an inspiration. One of the perks of being a journalist is the opportunity to tell really great stories and meet people who change your life. Gary has changed mine. Not only was he the first professor to teach me the art of storytelling, but he showed me how I should attack life: head on and doing what I love,” she said.  “Just spending time with him and telling his story was enough of a reward for me. Winning a Hearst award only proves how great a professor Gary is, because he taught me how to produce a piece like that. This award is all Gary Hanson - as both the subject and the foundation of the story itself. His wife, LuEtt [Hanson, Associate Dean of CCI] was equally kind and honest as I told their story. Gary is a fighter and we're all in the fight with him.”

Hanson is proud of LeBeau’s accomplishment and moved by her work. “Kaitlynn LeBeau is an excellent reporter and storyteller, who is able to handle a difficult, sensitive story with professionalism and grace,” he said. “It’s tough for someone who teaches reporting to be on the other side of a story, especially a story such as this.  Compassion and sensitivity are traits that are often overlooked in modern journalism.  I believe Kaitlynn has an excellent career as a journalist ahead of her because she possess those qualities.  She’s already a leader in our school and in TV 2.  I’m particularly proud of her work, her achievement at being recognized by the Hearst Foundation Awards committee and proud to call her a student and friend."

The Hearst Journalism Program, often called the “Pulitzer awards of college journalism,” consists of five monthly writing competitions, two photojournalism competitions, one radio and two TV broadcast news competitions and four multimedia competitions, with Championship finals in all divisions. The program awards up to $500,000 in scholarships and grants annually.